Large-scale birth tourism bared

Pregnant women allegedly housed at farm on Saipan

A man with a plea deal with the U.S. government has exposed an alleged large-scale birth tourism business on Saipan that allegedly uses a farm to house pregnant women.

Richard Peng, through counsel Michael Dotts, revealed that his former partner ran a beef noodle restaurant while doing birth tourism business on the side.

Dotts said that Peng’s former business partner made his property on the island available specifically to house pregnant Chinese women. The business partner even had a price list, Dotts said.

Dotts made the disclosure after recommending a six-month sentence for Peng.

Peng, also known as Pai Peng and Tong-Long Peng, was charged in federal court with one count of harboring illegal aliens. The offense carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment.

Peng pleaded guilty on Aug. 4, 2016, as part of a plea deal. He will be sentenced on Monday, June 12, in the U.S. District Court for the NMI.

In one case, Peng allowed a pregnant Chinese woman to stay in his residence after the woman’s conditional parole expired, so she won’t be detected by immigration authorities.

Dotts said the Chinese woman got Peng’s phone number from another woman, who saw ads that Peng had posted on some Chinese website about the farm.

The Chinese woman called Peng after she arrived on the island with her boyfriend in November 2014.

After visiting the farm, the woman decided not to stay there. Her boyfriend asked Peng if she could stay instead at Peng’s residence. Dotts said Peng agreed and received RMB 50,000 from the Chinese woman.

Peng paid 20 percent of the money to the other woman who had given Peng’s phone number to the Chinese woman. The defendant also paid $1,000 to his former business partner.

The Chinese woman’s immigration status expired in November 2014 and she stayed at Peng’s house until February 2015.

Dotts said that in February 2015, Peng asked the woman to move out because she had been disrespectful to Peng’s family. At that point, Dotts said, the Chinese woman reported to authorities and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services what had been going on.

Dotts said his client had no criminal record before this case.

The lawyer said Peng previously ran or tried to run a wedding photography business in China, a furniture selling business in Los Angeles and then in China.

Dotts said after he came to Saipan, Peng ran a wedding photography business on the island.

Dotts said at the time of his offense, the defendant was operating a successful beef noodle restaurant with his former business partner.

In fact, Dotts said, Peng is currently planning to open his own restaurant on the island.

The lawyer said the defendant has no inclination to violate the law and has tried very hard to make a living legitimately by starting his own business.

Dotts said the idea to house the Chinese woman did not originate from Peng, and he has accepted responsibility for his offense.

Dotts said there is no evidence that Peng ever actively made his residence available specifically for housing the Chinese woman or any other pregnant Chinese women.

The lawyer said Peng has accepted responsibility for his offense, and helped identify his former business partner for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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